Petter Northug dominates Ruka Triple. UPDATED
Norway's Petter Northug claimed victory in the three day Mini Tour Ruka Triple and takes 200 points from Finland.
Petter Northug was fighting hard with Dario Cologna for the victory in Kuusamo's last stage of Ruka Triple over 15 km Classic Pursuit. In the final spurt Northug showed again his might and escaped Dario Cologna. Eldar Roenning came from 18th place and with a strong performance grabbed third place.
Petter Northug started from the first place in the final stage of Ruka Triple. After the first 2.5 km Dario Cologna eliminated the +12.8 sec gap. For 12.5 km were working as perfectly custom made engine. When they learned Alexander Legkov took away some seconds from their margin, they increased the speed and built up the gap again. The decision about the Ruka Triple was to be done in the last meters of the 15 km competition. Cologna and Northug came together to the last climb. Petter Northug boosted and left Dario Cologna behind. Cologna was finishing strongly but Petter Northug controled the race and stormed for the first World Cup victory of the new season.
Alexander Legkov started very hard and was trying to close up on the leaders. After 7.5 km he was able to take down the gap on Cologna and Northug to +28 seconds. In the second half of the competition, however, the Ruka Triple champion from last year could not keep the pace high enough and the chasing group led by Johan Olsson came from behind and caught him.
Olsson, Legkov, Hellner, Roenning, Poltoranin and Manificat were skiing together fighting for the last spot on the podium. In the last 1100m Maurice Manificat lost contact with the group as well as Alexander Legkov. Before the last uphill to the stadium Eldar Roenning came from behind opened a gap, which he defended in the finishing straight and claimed third place.
Kazakhstan's Alexey Poltoranin finshed fourth and had the quickest time of the day -8.7 sec ahead of Johan Olsson and -28.5 sec before another Swede Daniel Rickardsson.
Petter Northug (NOR)
Today, I was strong enough. I had good work together with Dario. I knew we had to go hard so the group didn’t catch us. I like these Mini Tours. This was very good training for Tour de Ski where it will be even tougher
Dario Cologna (SUI)
I’m happy with second place. Now I’ll go home and looking for snow somewhere. I need a little bit time to get better shape before Tour de Ski but I am very satisfied with my first to World Cup weekends.
Eldar Roenning (NOR)
My goal for this race was to get it to the podium and I’m happy I made it. I’m very happy with my skies. I know now that I am in a good shape in classic, last weekend in relay it was already good but today even better.
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